Makita XCU03Z LXT Review
Pros: Adjustable oil flow, unique chain tensioning system, great if you already own the batteries
Cons: Having two batteries is not ideal, loud, inconvenient electronic button, expensive
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Makita XCU03Z LXT
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|Pros||Adjustable oil flow, unique chain tensioning system, great if you already own the batteries||Top-notch cutting performance, long-lasting battery, easy chain tensioning system, many other tools that use the same batteries||Phenomenal charge time, long bar, metal bucking spikes||Spectacular battery life, two chain speed settings, barely consumes bar and chain oil||Compact, light, quiet, affordable|
|Cons||Having two batteries is not ideal, loud, inconvenient electronic button, expensive||So-so wind-up time||Heavy, noisy||Not the strongest cutting power, plastic chain tensioning system, electronic controls slow down sawing||Mediocre battery life, slow at making cuts|
|Bottom Line||A commendable cordless chainsaw that can be quite a drain on your bank account unless you already own Makita batteries||One of the best options if you're looking for bar length, battery life, and tool-free chain tensioning||This battery chainsaw has a battery that charges ultra-quick to keep you plugging away at your project||A good degree of performance and an exceptional battery life at a reasonable price||This cordless electric chainsaw is our favorite 20V model for small, quick projects around the yard|
|Rating Categories||Makita XCU03Z LXT||Ego Power+ CS1800||Greenworks Pro 80V||Husqvarna 120i||Worx WG322|
|Saw Performance (35%)|
|Ease of Use (30%)|
|Specs||Makita XCU03Z LXT||Ego Power+ CS1800||Greenworks Pro 80V||Husqvarna 120i||Worx WG322|
|Bar Length||14 inches||18 inches||18 inches||14 inches||10 inches|
|Measured Weight||11 lbs, 4 oz||12 lbs, 4 oz||15 lbs, 2 oz||10 lbs, 11 oz||6 lbs, 10 oz|
|Measured Battery Weight||1 lb, 6 oz x 2||3 lbs, 8 oz||3 lbs, 8 oz||2 lbs, 12 oz||1 lbs, 10 oz|
|Included Battery Size||5 Ah||5 Ah||2 Ah||4.2 Ah||2 Ah|
|Nominal Voltage||36V (2 x 18V)||56V||80V||36V||20V|
|Measured Runtime||28 minutes||60 minutes||27 minutes||40 minutes||22 minutes|
|Measured Run Time Eco Mode||n/a||n/a||n/a||54 mins||n/a|
|Measured Battery Charge Time||1 hr||1.5 hr||.5 hr||2 hrs||3 hr|
|Measured Average Cutting Time||7.87 seconds||5.876 seconds||5.32 seconds||13.486 seconds||38.382 seconds|
|Measured Wind Up Time||.75 seconds||1.25 seconds||1.15 seconds||.5 seconds||2 seconds|
|Measured Decibel Reading at 48in||105.7 dBa||88.8 dBa||86.8 dBa||85.9 dBa||80.0 dBa|
|Control Type||Electronic button, palm safety and brake||Side safety w/ chain brake||Electronic button, side safety, and brake||Electronic button, side safety and brake||Thumb safety|
|Chain Replacement and Tensioning Type||Tool free||Tool Free||Tool free||Tool free||Tool free|
|Metal Bucking Spikes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Bar & Chain Tank Location and Type||Side||Side, Screen||Top||Side, flip-up||Top|
|Measured Body Dimesions||17x6x8 inches||16x9x8 inches||14x9x7.5 inches||19x7x7 inches||13x8x7.5 inches|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Makita XCU03ZLXT is an adequate tool, but it fails to distinguish itself from the rest of the products in our review. Unless you already own Makita tools and the specific batteries that work with this saw, it makes sense to go with a more affordable model.
The LXT has some solid features. First and foremost, it has great cutting performance. During our lumber cutting test, the Makita had an average time of 7.9 seconds per cut putting it near the top of the field.
This model also has a decent runtime of 28 minutes as well as a short recharge time of 1 hour. One feature that really sets the Makita apart is that it has an adjustable pump for the bar and chain oil. This can be very handy for people that live in more variable climates, as the viscosity of oil changes with temperature as well from brand to brand. Some of the saws that we've tested dump oil out at a ridiculous rate, so it's great to be able to dial the pump down if it seems like the oil is flowing too quickly.
Of all of the tool-free chain tensioning systems, the Makita is our favorite. The fold-out lever extends to give the user extra mechanical advantage, making adjustments a cinch.
As an added feature Makita has made it so that in order to operate the chainsaw a power button needs to be pushed every time the operator wants to make a cut. This is a great feature for people who aren't using the saw often, but it adds time to each cut which can really slow you down over the course of the day.
Having two batteries is not ideal. Unless you already own Makita tools or batteries it is frivolous to have to deal with charging and keeping track of an extra battery.
The Makita XCU03Z LXT is also very loud. One of the loudest saws we've ever used, the Makita produces a maddening 105.7 decibels of noise for the user at full throttle and the pitch emitted by the saw is extra whiny.
We reviewed several saws that are cheaper and outperform the Makita XCU03Z LXT in aspects other than cutting.
A great reason to buy the Makita model is if you already own tools that use the same batteries. The LXT demonstrates good cutting performance, the chain tensioning system is one of the most solid and innovative of the "tool-free" types, and it's nice to be able to adjust the oil flow. However, there are several models in our review that have a more respectable overall performance.
— Ross Patton
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